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lives, to bear witness to the power, faithfulness and goodness of God in carrying her through them all, and hearing the many
if infinite wisdom was pleased to call me out to duties and trials as yet unknown, he would grant me those superior aids of strength that would support and keep me from fainting under them; persuaded that there was no distress or sorrow into which he could lead me, under which his gracious and all-sufficient arm could not support me. He has not disappointed me, nor suffered the heart and eyes directed to him to fail. 'God all-sufficient, and my only hope,' is my motto: let it be yours. Such indeed have I found him; and such I verily believe, you will find him too in this time of deep distress.
"Oh my dear children, help me to praise him! Such supports, such consolations, such comforts has he granted to the meanest of his creatures, that my mind, at times, is held in perfect astonishment, and is ready to burst into songs of praise, under its most exquisite distress.
"As to outward comforts, God has withheld no good things from me, but has given me all the assistance, and all the supports, that the tenderest friendship was capable of affording me, and which I think my dear Northampton friends could not have exceeded. Their prayers are not lost. I doubt not but I am reaping the benefit of them, and hope that you will do the same.
"I am returned to good Mr. King's. Be good to poor Mrs. King. It is a debt of gratitude I owe for the great obligations I am under to that worthy family here. Such a solicitude of friendship was surely hardly ever known, as I meet with here. I have the offers of friendship more than I can employ; and it gives a real concern to many here that they cannot find out a way to serve me. These are great honours conferred on the dear deceased, and great comforts to me. It is impossible to say how much these mercies are endeared to me, as coming in such an immediate manner from the divine hand. To his name be the praise and glory of all!
"And now, my dear children, what shall I say to you? Ours is no common loss. I mourn the best of husbands and of friends, removed from this world of sin and sorrow, to the regions of immortal bliss and light. What a glory! What a mercy is it that I am enabled with my thoughts to pursue him there! You have lost the dearest and the best of parents, the guide of your youth! and whose pleasure it would have been to have introduced you into life with great advantages. Our loss is great indeed! But I really think the loss the public has sustained is still greater. But God can never want instruments to carry on his work. Yet, let us be thankful that God ever gave us such a friend; that he has continued him so long with us. Perhaps, if we had been to have judged, we should have thought that we nor the world could never less have spared him than at the present time. But I see the hand of heaven, the appointment of his wise providence, in every step of this awful dispensation. It is his hand that has put the bitter cup into ours. And what does he now expect from us, but a meek, humble, entire submission to his will? We know this is our duty. Let us pray for those aids of his Spirit, which can only enable us to attain it. A father of the fatherless is God in his holy habitation. As such may your eyes be directed to him! He will support you. He will comfort you. And that he may, is not only my daily but hourly prayer.
"We have never deserved so great a good as that we have lost. And let us remember, that the best respect we can pay to his memory, is to endeavour as far as we can to follow his example, to cultivate those amiable qualities that rendered him so justly dear to us, and so greatly esteemed by the world. Particularly I would recommend this to my dear P. May I have the joy to see him acting the part worthy the relation to so amiable and excellent a parent, whose memory, I hope, will ever be valuable and sacred to him, and to us all! Under God, may he be a comfort to me, and a support to the family! Much depends on him. His loss I think peculiarly great. But I know an all-sufficient God can over-rule it as the means of the greatest good to him.
"It is impossible for me to tell you how tenderly my heart feels for you all!
prayers of her beloved companion and his many friends for her. It was an addition to her loss of him, though almost sunk in the greatness of that, that by his dying abroad, she lost a considerable annuity, which he had provided for her in case of widowhood; and to which she would otherwise have been entitled. It was happy that he never knew this would be the consequence, or it would have increased his embarrassment. Upon her return, a subscription was opened for her, chiefly in London, and in a great measure conducted by that generous friend, mentioned above as managing the Doctor's temporal concerns, and who hath since distinguished himself by all the offices of the wisest and most affectionate friendship for his family. This subscription met with all desirable encouragement, and the whole amounted to a sum, which more than indemnified her for the loss of her annuity. Besides this, she received several other handsome presents, sent as subscriptions to the Family Expositor, from persons of rank, both among the clergy and laity of the establishment. The generous and obliging manner, in which this whole affair was managed, the great honour which it reflected on the Doctor's memory as well as so signal an interposition of providence for the better support of his family, could not fail of giving her the most sensible pleasure and comfort under her affliction; and it is never recollected by her, but with sentiments of the warmest gratitude. Nor can I satisfy myself to conceal the kindness of his brethren in the neighbourhood of Northampton, and those of his pupils who had entered upon the ministry, who supplied his congregation, during his absence
How much I long to be with you to comfort you and assist you. Indeed, you are the only inducements I now have left to wish for life, that I may do what little is in my power to form and guide your tender years. For this purpose I take all possible care of my health. I eat, sleep, and converse at times with a tolerable degree of chearfulness. You, my dears, as the best return you can make me, will do the same, that I may not have sorrow upon sorrow. The many kind friends you have around you, I am sure, will not be wanting in giving you all the assistance and comfort that is in their power. My kindest salutations attend them all.
"I hope to leave this place in about fourteen or twenty days. But the soonest I can reach Northampton will not be in less than six weeks, or two months time, May God be with you, and give us though a mournful, yet a comfortable meeting! For your sakes I trust my life will be spared. And, I bless God, my mind is under no painful anxiety as to the difficulties and dangers of the voyage.
"The winds and the waves are in his hands, to whom I resign myself, and all that is dearest to me, I know I shall have your prayers, and those of my dearest friends with you.
"Farewell my dearest children! I am your afflicted, but most sincere friend, and ever affectionate mother,
and for half a year after his death, that the salary might be continued to his family for that time.*
His pupils remained together till the next vacation, when the academy was removed to Daventry near Northampton; where it still continues, in a very flourishing state, under the care of the Rev. Mr. Caleb Ashworth, whom the Doctor had, in his will, expressly recommended as a proper person to succeed him in the care of it, and (as he there expressed it) " perpetuate those schemes which I had formed for the public service, the success of which is far dearer to me than my life." His worthy successor hath been instrumental in training up many young ministers, who have done honour to their tutor, and proved very acceptable and useful to the congregations, over which they have been called to preside.
Soon after the Doctor's death, a poem to his memory was published by one of his pupils,+ which met with good acceptance in the world. I have his consent to republish it at the close of this work, and I hope it will be esteemed an agreeable part of it.
Dr. Doddridge was rather above the middle stature, extremely thin and slender; and there appeared a remarkable sprightliness and vivacity in his countenance and manner, when engaged in conversation, as well as in the pulpit, which commanded a general attention. He left four children; a son, who is an attorney at law; and three daughters; the eldest married to Mr. Humphreys, an attorney in Tewksbury, Gloucestershire; the others single. And may they inherit all their father's virtues, and the many blessings which he besought for them! §
* Dr. Doddridge's funeral sermon was preached by Mr. Orton, who was in every view the properest person for that service. On what day it was delivered does not appear from the copy now lying before me. The text was 1 Cor. xv. 54. and the words, “Death is swallowed up in victory." In a short time the discourse was published, and had an extensive circulation, under the title of "The Christian's Triumph over Death." It has since been annexed to the three volumes of the Doctor's Sermons and religious tracts. Mr. Orton did not enter largely into the character of his reverend and beloved friend, having then probably formed the design of writing his life.-K.
The author was Mr. Henry Moore, who afterwards settled in Devonshire, of which county he is a native, and who is now a dissenting minister at Leskard, in Cornwall. By his friends he is known not only to be an ingenious poet, but a sound scholar, especially in biblical criticism.-K.
His deportment in company was strikingly polite, affable, and agreeable; and in conversation he greatly excelled; his discourse being at once instructive and entertaining, and not unfrequently rising to the splendid.-K.
§ It was a happy circumstance, that at the time of Dr. Doddridge's illness, and decease, he had for his assistant in the academy, Mr. Samuel Clark, the son of his friend Dr. Clark. In this gentleman were united wisdom, knowledge, and an uncommon equanimity and steadiness of temper. Indeed, though very young, he
Thus have I endeavoured, in the best manner I was able, to give the public an account of those circumstances in Dr. Doddridge's life, temper and character, which appeared to me most important and instructive. * I have, in the preface to this work, anticipated some things, which might properly have been added as the conclusion of the whole. I shall therefore content myself with expressing my chearful hope, that my readers are deeply sensible how excellent and honourable such a life, as the Doctor led, must be in itself; and what constant satisfaction and pleasure he must have enjoyed, from such a course of uniform, active services for the honour of his Lord and the interest of religion, and from the success which attended them; especially from the prospect of that glorious reward, which was laid up for him in heaven; and I hope they will be excited and animated, by this conviction, to emulate his excellencies and follow his steps, as far as their respective abilities, stations and circumstances in life will admit. I most heartily wish them this felicity: And I doubt not, but if they already possess it or are aspiring to it, they will join with me in entreating the Lord of the harvest to send forth more such faithful labourers into his harvest, and to pour out more of the same spirit on those who are already employed in it. It comforteth me, upon a review of this work, that I have, through the whole of it, sincerely consulted the glory of God, the advancement of real religion, and the best interests of my fellow christians, especially my brethren in the ministry; and that "it is the happiness of great wisdom and goodness (I had almost said, it is a part of its reward) to be entertained and edified, by the writings of those, who are much its inferiors, and most readily to exercise an indulgence, which itself least needs."
was well qualified to have been chosen to succeed Dr. Doddridge in the office of principal tutor; but this his modesty would not have permitted; and, upon the whole, it was undoubtedly proper that a man of more advanced life should be appointed.—K.
* Upon the whole, Dr. Doddridge was not only a great man, but one of the most excellent and useful christians, and christian ministers that ever existed.-K.
TO THE MEMORY OF THE LATE REVEREND P. DODDRIDGE, D. D.
LONG have the Muses seen their sacred lays
Debas'd and mourn'd their prostituted praise.
The friend of man, the fav'rite of the skies,
When comets shoot their wild eccentric fire, We dread their progress, and with pain admire; When lightnings flash along the livid sky, Trembling we gaze, and, while they shine, we die; Ev'n such are heroes, by just heav'n design'd To scourge the guilty madness of mankind. Virtues like thine, serene as vernal day, Pour on the world a mild and healing ray: They charm, with modest majesty, the sight, Chear the sad soul of care, and beam around delight,
O ever-honour'd, ever-dear, adieu!
How many tender names are lost in you!
Our pray❜rs, blest Doddridge, had revers'd thy doom,
Shall guide with skilful care our wand'ring youth;